BY: LAURIE SAINT
Assistant Vice President, Financial Planning | AmeriTrust
Close your eyes and think back to the first time you were given a set of car keys. I imagine you felt a little bit like I did: a combination of excitement, freedom and a tiny bit of fear. Where will I go first? How will I get there? What if something unexpected happens along the way? Just like having a map is an essential guide when you hit the road, it’s important to have a guiding plan or authoritative voice to assist in creating a plan for your finances as well.
At AmeriTrust, we’ve designed our program to be an in-depth analysis of various components of an individual’s personal finances, with resulting recommendations targeted toward meeting a client’s individual financial goals. It can be viewed as a financial road map, identifying where a client is today, where they want to be and most importantly, how to get there. Creating a road map is the first step toward lasting financial wellness and independence. Here are three stops we pass along the way:
Start with ‘why’
Just like when you first open a map, the complexity of looking at your situation and trying to find the safest and most efficient path to success by yourself can be daunting. Our advisors begin with getting to know you first, before we get to know your numbers. What are your goals and dreams? We begin our work by looking at every piece of your financial lifestyle, from monthly spending and medical history to debt and assets in order to identify a fair and objective starting point.
Studying these parts of life that are rarely discussed publicly allow us to make comprehensive recommendations about income tax planning, cash flow management, investment portfolio, retirement planning, estate tax and distribution planning, risk management and education planning. Being honest about these facets of life with a trusted advisor is the first step to setting and pursuing the best financial plan for your unique situation.
Keep the end in sight
Once we’ve identified your starting point, it’s time to start dreaming about where you’ll end up! Just like the best part of a vacation is counting down the days until it starts, the best part about planning your financial road map is looking forward to the destination. Do you want to own your home? Give generously to your grandchildren’s college fund? Take that vacation you’ve always dreamed of?
Our advisors take the time to get to know you in order to facilitate your individual dreams and goals, giving you the freedom to concentrate on the steps needed to achieve them.
Discover joy in the journey
Anyone who has embarked on a road trip knows there are bound to be mishaps along the way. Our lives are full of these same situations, which is why our process is dynamic – designed to ebb and flow with the changes in your life. We like to consider ourselves as your financial co-pilot, constantly monitoring for upcoming changes, making recommendations for switching course or even just cheering you on in the right direction.
I am thankful for the opportunity to work alongside clients during their most joyful and most sorrowful moments, giving them the gift of peace of mind, knowing we have a plan for anything life may throw their way.